Correlation of Corona Virus and Deployment of 5G Technology Systems
STATEMENT BY URCA
The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) is sensitive to the concerns of the Bahamian public regarding the alleged correlation between the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) and exposure to radiofrequency fields from 5G infrastructures. URCA’s position on this issue is informed by the view of the World Health Organization (WHO), The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), and The International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (ICES).
According to the WHO (2020), the ICNIRP and the ICES have conducted health-related studies and produced guidelines that have been ratified by WHO. The studies covered radio frequencies up to 300 GHz, which include the frequency range under consideration for 5G technologies. To date, research consistently shows that there is no correlation between adverse health effect and exposure to radiofrequency emissions from wireless communications technologies that follow international guidelines (World Health Organization, 2020), a position that URCA supports.
URCA notes that the Government of the Bahamas (the “Government”) recognizes that human and animal tissue heating could result from exposure to radiofrequency fields produced by wireless technologies. Therefore, the Government, through section 8 (2) of the Communications Act, 2009, placed upon URCA the duty to, among other things, impose on the operators of wireless communication networks and carriage service, conditions that:
- secure the protection of public health by the prevention or avoidance of the exposure of individuals to electromagnetic fields created in connection with the operation of a network, and
- require compliance with relevant international standards.
URCA assures the Bahamian public that its mandate to secure the protection of public health by ensuring that Licensees comply with relevant international standards is the foremost consideration when URCA engages in regulating the Electronic Communications Sector in The Bahamas.
For that reason, URCA has been careful to ensure the emissions of Cellular Mobile Operators in The Bahamas strictly adhere to the international guidelines, and periodically URCA test the emissions of Cellular Mobile Operators to ensure they are within the prescribed standards. Hence, URCA does not expect adverse consequences to the health of the public in The Bahamas from exposure to 5G infrastructures. Nevertheless, URCA will continually review the scientific evidence related to potential health risks from 5G exposure as more public health-related data becomes available. If necessary, URCA will revise the regulations to safeguard public health.
World Health Organization. (February 2020). 5G mobile networks and health. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/5g-mobile-networks-and-health.